Court News

Farmer Jailed For Cultivating Marjiuana For Commercial Purposes

Justice Goundar said the court’s duty was to protect the community from the harmful effects of the drugs.
13 Feb 2021 15:51
Farmer Jailed For Cultivating Marjiuana For Commercial Purposes
Vilikesa Taginakalou outside the High Court in Suva on February 12, 2021. Photo: Ashna Kumar

Cultivation of drugs is too prevalent in our communities. The offenders usually are ordinary villagers who resort to cultivation of drugs because of its lucrative nature, without fully comprehending the consequences of their actions on the community.

This was highlighted by High Court Judge, Justice Daniel Goundar while sentencing a 52-year-old farmer from Naitasiri, Vilikesa Taginakalou, to seven years imprisonment for cultivating 6.3 kilograms of marijuana plants.

He was also sentenced to three months imprisonment for possession of an illicit drug.

His non-parole period is for four years.

Justice Goundar said the court’s duty was to protect the community from the harmful effects of the drugs.

He said in cases of cultivation of marijuana for commercial purposes, a prison sentence was unavoidable to give effect to the principle of deterrence, both personal and general.

The court heard that Taginakalou, during an operation, was found in possession of marijuana at a bus shelter.

He was arrested and questioned under caution and revealed to the Police that the source of the drugs was his own farm.

He took the Police to his farm at Wainibuka from where the Police uprooted 201 marjiuana plants.

The size of the plants ranged from 16 centimetres to 205 centimetres in height.

The dried leaves that were found on Taginakalou at the bus stand were properly packaged in sachets and tin foils.

Taginakalou had already served one year and two months in prison when he was initially sentenced for the same offence which he had appealed and later pleaded guilty.

The remaining sentence to be served by him is five years and 10 months.

Feedback:  ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj

 



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